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by the address of his wife Catharine. When he made peace, he was obliged to give up Azof, and some of his conquests on the shores of the Black Sea. But he indemnified himself by getting Livonia, Esthonia, and part of Finland and Carelia, by a treaty of peace, from Sweden, and by his brilliant successes in the campaign with Persia. When he died, on the 28th January, 1725, of an inflammatory attack brought on by exposure to the cold at the ceremony of blessing the waters of the Neva, he left Russia entirely a new country. For this he has been immoderately praised by Voltaire and his school, and their praises have become stereotyped in history. Doubts may arise at this day whether what he did for Russia was even for her good. It was certainly not for the good of mankind. Civilization, like religion, to be good for anything, must be part of the constitution of a nation or an individual; it must grow up in the common natural atmosphere, not be forced in a hothouse. What is the consequence of Peter's so-called reforms to Russia? Russia is like a sturdy boor who has become a millionaire by gold-digging, who bedizens his outward man with pins, and chains, and rings, and is all barbarism and brutality within. Yet he expects to be treated like a gentleman, and is in consequence a great nuisance to society. There was something grand in old Russia- her enormous cities and palaces, especially ther town-like Kremlin; the colossal men who stalked within them, the barbaric state and luxury that reigned in them; the flowing robes and Asiatic costumes, so rich and picturesque; the gorgeous religion, an offshoot from that of Greece, not yet secularized or schismatized, but commanding in its own right, venerable and magnificent. All this was to count for nothing in the reforms of Peter. Beards and gowns were changed for perukes and coatees, Asiatic state for Parisian etiquette. A Moscow of hoar antiquity, golden and rainbow-coloured, splendid with a thousand minarets and cupolas of gigantic grotesqueness, was to yield the palm to the gimcrack would-be Grecian city on the Neva, sadly out of place among the ice and darkness about the Polar circle. Peter only acted
in the spirit of his age in seeing no difference between an old and a new country. The intense bad taste of that age penetrated all Europe, and even in our own country overlaid the carved oak, which had lasted from the Crusades, with the same coat of levelling paint with which it daubed the vulgar deal.
Peter seems to have destroyed the last remnants of national morality in Russia in destroying her antiquity. We are not accustomed to look upon Russia now as one of the old countries of the world; she seems as much of yesterday as the United States. Like her nobles, who gave up their papers to be burnt by Fedor II., she has burnt her Past, or rather Peter has done it for her, more recklessly than France did for herself at the first Revolution. And, indeed, the first Revolution in France and the reforms of Peter are exactly of the same moral character; they spring from a common source. For the sake of convenience, we may take the date of the battle of Narva, the year 1700, as the era of the beginning of Peter's system. Now, we know that, at the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth, a system began in France, which spread through Europe, of ignoring the interests of the governed, and sacrificing all national good to the maintenance of showy and trivial courts. Ceremonial and stiffness, frivolity and extravagance, ruled in these courts; while principles were followed and avowed, in confidential circles, which would necessarily be fatal to the privileges of castes and classes, as soon as they had passed out and spread themselves among the people. It was not likely that the people would respect those who had ceased to respect themselves. Louis XIV. ruled as a military monarch; he suppressed the remains of chivalry, because it did not suit the modern system of war. He made religion an instrument of despotism. Under the Regency and Louis XV., all knightly principles-in fact, all principles whatever-were scoffed at in the court, and nothing was believed but the gospel according to Voltaire. The Reign of Terror was a fit retribution for all this. The grandees of that time would, no doubt, have wish
ed to keep Voltaire from the people as religiously as the priests kept the Bible; but his religion suited their inclinations, and they would have him. One of Voltaire's chiefest apostles was Frederick II. of Prussia, one of his chief heroes and prophets was Peter the Great.
But Peter was far from avowing a contempt for religion, as Frederick did; he was much too politic for that. He knew that attachment to the source of their church was strongly connected with the desire of the Russians to obtain Constantinople, and he knew that the possession of Constantinople was the keystone of the arch of Russian dominion, which, once secured, it would become impregnable, and as permanent as anything earthly could be. Yet he managed, in the most skilful manner without scandal and almost without offence, to get the religion of the country into his hands in the persons of her priesthood. The way had been before partially cleared for him by the establishment of the separate independence of the Russian patriarch. When the patriarch died in his reign he declined to elect a successor, and ended with making the Tsar the head of the church in a much more full and complete sense than Henry VIII. did in making the King of England. In fact, so far has this been carried out since, that we may doubt whether the Virgin Mary holds a higher rank in the worship of the most bigoted Romanist than the Czar does in that of the ordinary Muscovite, or other Russian subject. Only the other day we heard of a body of Bashkirs breaking out in mutiny, because on a march by St. Petersburg they were not allowed to see the Tsar; and when he showed himself to them, they evinced frantic joy, kissed his stirrups, and hung round his horse's legs with a sort of animal devotion. That Peter, however, was an egotist like Frederick, does not appear his religion was the aggrandizement of Russia; it was a religion which he bequeathed, whether formally or not is not quite certain, as a solemn legacy to his successors; and to show his sincerity, inaugurated by the judicial murder of his son Alexis, the heir to the throne, merely on the grounds that he was not able to re
ceive its impressions. Peter enlisted in the service alike the craft of the Jesuit and the boldness of the Crusader; personally he seems to have preferred intrigue to force, and his most effective strokes were dealt bloodlessly. One of these, among
many, was his prompt recognition of the Elector of Brandenburg as King of Prussia, which a short-sighted statesman might have thought rather inimical than otherwise to the extension of Russia westward. Peter well knew of what advantage it would be hereafter to Russia to make Germany a house divided against itself, by raising a new power antagonistic to the original German empire. Of course, Prussia herself had no objection to this. Saxony, Poland, and Denmark had sold their souls to Peter, and England and Holland said nothing against it, as they wanted to hire Prussian troops at the time, the former power having as usual neglected the maintenance of her native army. In his latter days, so little awe did the German emperor inspire in Peter, that he had the audacity to assume the august title of Emperor or Kaiser himself officially, having been before called so sometimes, as a compliment, especially by England. This was a kind of claim of admission into the temple of European civilization, like that of Philip of Macedon to be admitted into the Amphictyonic Council of Greece. Another most sagacious move of Peter's was the marriage of his niece to the reigning duke of Mecklenburg, thus affording a German family an opportunity of one day filling his own throne, and forming the first of many such links that bind Russia with Germany, or at least her princes, so closely that it seems if one is pushed over a precipice the other must go with it. The effect of these two strokes of policy, which were the beginning of many others, is seen now in the neutralization of a nation of thinkers, whose opinion is on our side, and the paralyzation as against Russia of more than half a million of the finest soldiers in Christendom.
Although we have seen, in the early history of Russia, strong indications of the aggrandizing spirit, and found the design on Constantinople existing
as a religious principle in her people out of his youth. Whether that wind since the taking of that city by the blew hot or cold, its effect was the Turks, yet Peter was the first to re- same; it blighted, it nipped, it witherduce these tendencies and aspirations ed, it blasted. The seed leaves came to a system; and as Ivan the Terrible out, and then were curled up and was the first Tsar, marking the esta- dried away; the young shoots were blishment of absolute power and na- burnt at the edges. By-and-by clouds tional independence, so was Peter gathered in the horizon of the far Alexievitch the first Emperor, mark- West. They grew up and up, and ing the beginning of the militant and combined with some difficulty. They aggressive era for Russia, in which she were very deliberate in coming on, seems to have thrown away the scab- but they did come on slowly but surely, bard in her fight with the world, de- and now from many quarters they termined to conquer all, or to die as a came on, against the wind. Somegreat nation. Thus we have seen that times their meaning was revealed in the aggressive movement of Russia bright flashes and distant thunderis twofold, depending, in part, on the growls. At last they broke in torsuperstition of the people, and their rents of life-giving, health-giving rain. traditional notion of a crusade against The imprisoned powers of nature at Byzantium, and in part on the policy once broke loose, the flowers sprung of her monarchs, brought into shape into seed-leaf, leaf and blossom, and by Peter, and left to his successors. all, as it were, at once; every perfume The courtiers are of course with the of the garden came out more delicious autocrat when they have nothing to for having been so long sealed up, get by assassinating him, and they and the songs of love-making birds have been found to keep up to the were heard far and wide among the mark and standard of ambition the dropping trees. Nature seemed to less aspiring monarchs. Being the make a great holiday because the east creatures of government employment, wind had been discomfited. Thus they look upon conquest as good for may it be now in the political world. creating new offices, and rendering Europe is thoroughly aroused to the existing ones more lucrative. Thus pestilent nature of the breath of Ruswe have to contend against, in Russia, sia. The thunder clouds are gathering the Crown, the Court, and the People in the West; they are travelling to the in this movement, united as one man, North and South; they are even now though on separate grounds-a view bursting in the South. When the which, if true, will make all hopes of salutary storm has blown over, we the war coming to an end through may hope for a season of gladness-a internal disaffection illusory. This season when the voices of despotism matters not much, as England and and democracy, those twin tyrants of France may be esteemed together the earth, will be hushed, and rational quite equal to the three elements of Liberty will find its way into courts, the Russian constitution. But a na- castles, and cottages; and Improvetion so very large on the map, acting ment, which is the will of the Eternal, as a great animal with a single will, will no more be considered to imply is a matter to make us serious; and it political change, but rather the peris to be hoped we are so. The great fecting of the "powers that be" in struggle lies upon us, and if we come every land, investing the monarchies out victorious, and know how to use with justice, the aristocracies with the victory, there will be joy and philanthropy, and the democracies peace for the world for many an age with reverence; arranging all timeto come. Ever since the time of Peter, honoured institutions in the spirit of the imperial policy of Russia has come method and order, and yet more spiupon Western Europe like the un- ritualising that method and order, as healthy breath of an east wind; even far as man's wisdom is capable, into like the very east wind which has some similitude of the everlasting cheated us out of our spring this year, beauty which underlies and permeates as adverse circumstances cheat a man the structure of God's own universe.
ZAIDEE A ROMANCE.
PART VIII.-BOOK II.
CHAPTER XXVII.-MRS. WILLIAMS'S ROOM.
Mrs. Burtonshaw was still more rejoiced and exultant next morning to find that she had wrought a complete cure, and that, emerged from the purgatory of gruel, bathed feet, and double coverings, her young patient took especial care not to look pale in her presence again. "You must take care, my dear, and wear this shawl to-day. What a pleasure to think you are so much better!" said Mrs. Burtonshaw, When she was gone, Zaidee conscientiously carrying the shawl with her, hurried to seek admittance at the little door, three or four steps up in a corner of the wall, which belonged to the private apartment of Jane Williams. In this great house, where there were so many rooms, this little one was merely intended for a linen closet; but pragmatical Jane was very Welsh and very positive. She liked this small corner, which put her in mind of her limited accommodation at home, and had it crowded with her belongings, with true rural pride. A few things in a great room looked "poor," as Jane thought. The true sign of wealth was to pack your apartment till you bad barely room to move in it. Accordingly, a very narrow winding pathway over Jane's central carpet, and a clear space by the side of her little green porcelain stove, large enough to hold herself, her elbowchair, and small round table, was all the available space in the private room of Mrs. Williams. One window, close into the corner of the wall, gave a onesided aspect to the little apartment; and this window looked into a great elm tree, which, in summer, with its multitudinous leaves, and at present with a forest of bare branches, was the whole visible world to the inmate here. A spider-legged table, with numerous drawers, stood in the window, and upon it were ranged various ornamental matters-a stuffed parrot in a case, a grotto of shells, an elaborate workbox, with its lid open, disclosing all its treasures. By
dint of pertinacity, Jane had managed to have these favourite articles of hers carried among the family baggage wherever they wandered; and the old woman took pleasure in the neat cover of her table, and in the careful arrangement of these treasured ornaments. Her little mantel-shelf, too, was rich with china shepherds and shepherdesses, and supported her library of three books-an aged Welsh Bible, & collection of hymns, and one of ballads, in the same antique language— for the newspapers were the only things which Jane would submit to read in English. She was a worldlyminded old woman, but she had a national regard for "religion," and was reverent of the name, and of its symbols, as Mary Cumberland was. Jane's religion consisted in conning a few verses in her Welsh Bible on the afternoon of Sunday, which she observed with great decorum by means of a long sleep and a grave face. Mr. Cumberland and his wife were liberal, to the broadest extent of liberalism, and never interfered with the " opinions" of their servants. The " opinions" of various of these respectable domestics were in favour of coffee and music at the Rosenau, and were not against a concluding dance. Save Mrs. Burtonshaw and Zaidee, whose ignorance was aghast at this, the family were extremely indifferent. Only Mrs. Williams took the place of censor upon her-she who herself was virtuously conscious of spending the day as her father spent it in the recesses of religious Wales. This town of Ulm, though it was Lutheran, was no less addicted to its Rosenau and its Sunday holiday than if mass had still been said in its Domkirch; and though Sylvo Burtonshaw concluded it "very poor fun" to sit by the long tables, on the damp soil of these gardens, sipping coffee, neither Sylvo nor his kindred knew very well how to spend the day better. They yawned through it, for Sabbath propriety's sake.
dead letter, and Sabbath-keeping unknown to them. They were the best examples in the world to a foreign apprehension of the dulness of the English Sunday. It was neither the day of God nor the day of home; "the fruit of this, the next world's bud," to those hapless rich people who had only "opinions" and no faith.
But while we digress, Zaidee stands waiting at the door of Mrs. Williams's room, and is very glad to see Mrs. Williams herself sitting by the stove in her little sanctum, mending her laces, when she is invited to enter. A great many pieces of furniture, wardrobes, and boxes, fill up the small space within these four white walls, and Zaidee winds her way carefully towards the little throne of the Welshwoman. Looking into the elm tree is like looking into a forest. Only those bare branches and a morsel of sky are visible, of the world without; but all the world of its inmate is within this small enclosure. Out of it she is foreign and unintelligible, even to her fellow-servants. Here she hears the "sweet Welsh," from her own lips at least, and in her own fancy lives her life over again. The hills of Wales and the grand house of Powisland rise once more before her, as she goes on with her silent occupations, Poor old Jane Williams! she is solitary, and a stranger down-stairs, with all her self-importance; but here she is at home.
"Well then, child, shut the door. I will not have them foreigners looking in on me," said the old woman. 'Did you come for the collars? Yes, sure them ladies that never took up a needle, they think poor folk's fingers is made of iron. I do be busy with them; they will be done in time."
"I did not come for the collars, Jane," said Zaidee, with a slight return of her former trembling. "But you said you would let me see some papers. Will you and I will try to help you if I can."
"And what do you want with my papers, child?" said Jane, fixing upon Zaidee her little twinkling scrutinising eyes.
"I like to see about the people you tell us of. I like to hear your stories, Jane," said Zaidee, with unconscious flattery; "and the old gentleman
the old Squire. You said you would let me see his name."
66 Well, I know a deal of stories. Yes, indeed-that is the truth," said Jane. "Miss Mary has her own things to mind; for certain sure she never would listen to me. I like an open-hearted child. I do, then; and I am good to learn any one experience of the world. Yes, sure, I've seen a deal myself-and my father, and my sister, and my brother-and all among great families too, and nothing common; and I've a deal of papers. There's all about Rhys Llewellyn that married the pretty lady and Miss Evelyn that runned away, and more than I can tell. They'd get me money, you may take my word, if a scholard was to see them; but I'm no scholard myself. Sit you down, child. I'll get my keys when I'm done."
Zaidee sat down patiently on the stool by Jane's feet. The old woman was very busy, holding the lace between her small brown shrivelled hands, and working with great speed. The sounds of the household life below were lost in the distance; the long wide passages and staircases consumed them before they came so far, and in a strange isolation the little Welshwoman pursued her labours. wind rustled in the branches of the elm, and the rushing of the Danube interposed faintly; these natural voices were all the sounds that came here. Zaidee was struck with the loneliness-she wondered what moving cause there could be to bring this old woman here.
"Jane, could you not stay at home? Why did you come here?" asked Zaidee in a half whisper.
"Could I not stay at home? You don't know what you are saying, child," cried the old woman, indignantly. "They'd be glad to see me home-ay, and rejoice this day. I came for my own will; yes, I did, then. I had a mind to see foreign parts. And to see the great house at Powisland stripped and bare, and every one dead and gone-it broke my heart. child, over lands and seas; but I can see sweet Powisland, and my beautiful Wales between me and that treefor certain I can. And I think upon all my old tales; and an old woman
I'm far off now,